History of Latchi
Latchi, or Latsi as it is also known locally, is situated on the coast between Polis and the Cape of Akamas, a region steeped in mythology and rich in history.
Sitting on the north west end of the island of Cyprus, this picturesque little fishing village which is part of the municipality of Polis has slowly been gaining the notice of tourists who come here for a relaxing vacation. Most of these visitors from other European countries often book themselves on cheap flights to Cyprus months in advance to ensure that they get the best rates and the lower airfares. Some of the most interesting sights in Latchi are the popular Baths of Aphrodite and the Akamas National Park.
Baths of Aphrodite,
To the west of the village lies the Baths of Aphrodite, where the goddess used to bathe just before her marriage to Hephaestus, the maker of the weapons for the gods. She also met her lover at the baths, Adonis, the beginning of a tale which leads to his tragic death. Following the Trojan war Akamas, the son of Theseus landed near the area of Polis and Latchi.
Akamas National Park
This park is named after the son of Theseus who was famed for his part in the Trojan wars, the Akamas peninsula is home to over 500 plant species many of which are only found on the Akamas peninsula. As this is a coastal park there is a wide vaiety of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterfly species. These live in a combination of pine and juniper forests, maquis forests, gorges, cliffs, and sand dunes. Lara Bay in the Park is extremely important breeding ground for turtles (green turtles and hawks-bill, both on the endangered species list). This is an extremely important natural area and lends its name to many local places and traditions. READ MORE
Somewhere nearby, this Athenian warrior founded the lost city of Akamantis and gave his name to the Cape of Akamas. Polis was probably founded by Akamas and was once known as Marion. Marion became a city kingdom when the Mycenaeans came to Cyprus, over 3000 years ago. Marion was also known to the Egyptian King, Rameses III. The city is referred to in his temple at Medinet Habu and is dated to 12th Century BC. In 449 the Athenian King Kimon freed Marion from Persian rule and the city then became a kingdom known as Marion Ellinikon.
The nearby gold and copper mines at Limni were a great source of wealth to Marion Ellinikon and helped the kingdom become a successful trading port, particularly with Athens. In Polis, there are many examples of pots which were made in Attica and obtained through trade with the Atheniens. Eventually the ancient city of Marion was destroyed in 312 BC following a battle between Antigonus and Ptolemy, successors of Alexander the Great. The king of Marion Ellinikon had sided with Antigonus, but when Ptolemy defeated him, he laid waste to the city and had the people moved to Paphos.
Years later, the city of Arsenoe was founded on the ruins by a member of the Ptolemy dynasty, Philadephus and was named after his wife. The city prospered again in the Hellenistic and Roman ages. In early Christian times it became and episcopate and eventually became known as Chrysochou and then Polis Chrysochou, the golden city. The city again suffered extensive destruction when the country came under the rule of the Byzantine empire, but the city was again known to be inhabited in the 12th and 14th centuries. Many paintings from this period can be found in a 16th century church in Polis, Agios Andronikos. Here you can also find paintings from the Venetian period. Latchi became the picturesque harbour of Polis and in the past it served as a shipping port for valuable goods such as carob. Large stone warehouses can be found around the port, and many of these have now been converted into restaurants for locals and tourists to enjoy.